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How to write headline by David Ogilvy. Math formula with 11 variables.


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Updated on Monday, May 01, 2017

By default 80% of your readers /customers start to read from headline and only 20% start from main body.

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The headline is the most important element in most advertisements of product, copy, or copy as a product. By default 80% of your readers /customers start to read from headline and only 20% start from main body.

Headline to sell = (Prospect Name + Benefit + New + Wonder + Emotion + Brand + Promise + Bait - Wordplay - Negatives + Fullness)

Main components to build selling headline:

1. Name your prospects in headline.

If you are selling a remedy for bladder weakness, display the BLADDER WEAKNESS in your headline. 

2. Promise a benefit in headline.

Example: for hormone cream: HOW WOMEN OVER 35 can LOOK YOUNGER.

3.  NEW! or FREE!

Customers always looking for new products, or new improvements in an old product. You can seldom use FREE, but almost always - NEW.

4. Add more wonder phrases.

HOW TO, SUDDENLY, NOW, ANNOUNCING, INTRODUCING, IT'S HERE, JUST ARRIVED, IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENT, IMPROVEMENT, AMAZING, SENSATIONAL, REMARKABLE, REVOLUTIONARY, STARLING, MIRACLE, MAGIC, OFFER, QUICK, EASY, WANTED, CHALLENGE, ADVICE TO , THE TRUTH ABOUT, COMPARE, BARGAIN, HURRY, LAST CHANCE.
They may be trivial, but they work.

5. Add emotional words

DARLING, LOVE, FEAR, PROUD, FRIEND, BABY.

6. Add brand name

Yes! Don't forgot it is part of your product values.

7. Add selling promise

Needs room?   Don't worry. The New York University School of Retailing tests 6-12 headlines sell more than 3-6 words. 
Example: At sixty Miles an Hour the Loudest Noise in the New Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.

8. Add the Bait

Always add the bait at the end to read all body.

9. Remove wordplay

Customers don't have time to understand the meaning of obscure headlines.

10. Remove the negatives

No "NO".   Readers may miss it negative word and all message meaning will turn 180 degrees.

11. Add fullness

Headline has to be self-sufficient without main body, remember only 20% will read the body.

[1] Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy, 207 pages Original 
Content type: Blog, Video blog, Interview, Whitepage, Webinar


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